WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House unanimously passed H.R. 4708, the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign Authorization Act of 2017. Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) is an original cosponsor of this bipartisan bill that helps protect victims of human trafficking by empowering federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as private sector organizations to raise awareness and combat human trafficking.
January is Human Trafficking & Slavery Awareness Month, and January 11 has been recognized as #WearBlueDay to raise awareness of this issue.
Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:
“The House is once again taking action to secure America’s borders and protect our homeland by empowering frontline defenders at the Department of Homeland Security. This bill enhances information sharing between DHS employees and local, state, and federal law enforcement. It provides DHS agents with the resources and training necessary to combat human traffickers and safeguard America’s ports of entry. This effort is critical to both prevent illegal entry into the United States and to protect American citizens from the evils of human trafficking.”
Key points of this legislation include:
- H.R. 4708 authorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to deter, detect, and mitigate instances of human trafficking.
- It provides resources that will allow DHS to continue partnering with state, local, tribal, and territorial entities to provide training on how to raise awareness of human trafficking and coordinate efforts to prevent it.
- This bill also directs the Department to disseminate intelligence and best practices related to human trafficking trends and mitigation efforts.
- Finally, the bill bolsters DHS efforts to coordinate among public and private stakeholders, including government agencies, private entities, law enforcement partners, and non-governmental organizations efforts to raise public awareness on the threat human trafficking poses to our communities nationwide.